Immigrant, Latino Youth Get College Experience At Local Summer Camp

Applications for Latino Leadership and College Experience Camp now open
By Jenifer Abreu

Filling out an application, meeting deadlines, picking and attending courses, and deciding on a career sounds like a familiar road for students getting close to the finish line in high school.

But for most Latino and immigrant students in Kentucky, understanding the process of applying to college is a challenge, and sometimes, pursuing higher education is not an option.

According to the Kentucky Latino Education Alliance, only 17 percent of Latinos in Kentucky between ages 25 and 64 have an associate’s degree.

In an effort to increase that number, the Bluegrass Community and Technical College is offering for the 9th consecutive year, the Latino Leadership and College Experience camp for high school students from across Kentucky.

The camp, to be held at BCTC from July 27 through Aug. 3, offers youth with a week-long simulation of college life – with classes throughout the day selected by the students based on their career interests, leadership activities and cultural events in the evenings.

Throughout the week, students stay in the dorms at the University of Kentucky campus, attend classes at BCTC taught by volunteers who are professors or experts in the field, and participate in leadership development workshops, teambuilding and sports activities, and social justice and cultural awareness events.

Students also participate in college prep sessions daily, where they create a game plan for college, receive career counseling and learn how to find and apply for scholarships.

From 2006 to 2012, 260 students have attended the LLCEC. From those who graduated high school, 84 percent have enrolled in college, according to Excelencia in Education!, an organization that uses data-driven research to improve education for Latino students.

All high school students are welcome to apply, but priority registration is for upcoming juniors, seniors and graduating seniors. Freshmen and sophomores will be considered based on availability and high recommendation.

The deadline to apply is May 2nd and the application costs $40 per student.

For more information on how to participate as a student or volunteer, click here.

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